USEFUL TV FOR A CHANGE: The rise of the IT guerrillas

The Avenging Assangel and his cohorts have landed—at last.

Swedish television takes an in-depth look at the Wiki rebels. The findings put liberals in a tight spot


As this fine Swedish TV documentary makes clear, the criminals and crooks who misrule this planet will have a tough time putting the WikiLeaks genie back in the bottle.  Julian Assange is only the visible icon of WikiLeaks, and swatting him or putting him away in a dark dungeon will not stop the phenomenon and may indeed render it more intractable. Assange’s partners throughout the international hacking community are loyal, brave, resourceful, and—thankfully— in the thousands, operating from every corner of the world. These are people who are fed up with the scandalous misrule of the planet by the reigning plutocracies and want change. Real change, not just demagogic hot air.  

These IT guerrillas realize that dependable information—the truth about the real state of the world and the forces responsible for the endless crises, crimes, horrific unnecessary suffering, and wholesale terrorism—can indeed ultimately make people free, and aim to facilitate the process.  The enormous beneficial potential of WikiLeaks seems to be obvious to many top thinkers on the left, including Daniel Ellsberg, the brave whistleblower to whom Julian Assange is most frequently compared, but, not too surprisingly, the point either eludes or is shamelessly ignored by prominent liberals (For criticism of what some prominent liberals have been doing in connection with WikiLeaks, please see: Who do you believe?  Assange or Rachel Maddow? ).

About the documentary

This one-hour documentary represents Swedish Television’s journalists Jesper Huor and Bosse Lindquist exclusive rough-cut of the first in-depth television report on WikiLeaks and the people behind it. For many it’s sure to be an eye-opener. Curiously, or perhaps all too typically, no similar effort has been made by American television. 
     From summer 2010 until now, SVT (Swedish tv) followed the secretive media organization WikiLeaks and its enigmatic Editor-in-Chief Julian Assange.  To put the pieces together, the reporters, Jesper Huor and Bosse Lindquist, traveled to key countries where WikiLeaks operates, interviewing top members, such as Assange, new Spokesperson Kristinn Hrafnsson, as well as people like Daniel Domscheit-Berg who now is starting his own version – If you haven’t heard about them, you’re not alone. You probably live in the US. 
     The documentary also includes interviews with Ian Overton from The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, James Ball of TBIJ and WikiLeaks, Icelandic MP Birgitta Jónsdóttir, former WikiLeaks collaborators Herbert Snorrason and Smári McCarthy, and PRQ CEO Mikael Viborg.
     Commendably, and for the most part evenhandedly, the documentary looks at WikiLeaks’ philosophy and operations, some of its famous disclosures including the Kenya report, the Guantanamo manuals, Kaupthing, Trafigura, the Collateral Murder video, the Afghanistan and Iraq war logs, the US administration’s reactions, and the lead-up to the Cablegate release.  It is a must-see production, especially since it dispels so many lies and suspicions currently floating around WikiLeaks. 

Patrice Greanville is The Greanville Post‘s founding editor. 

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